March is a celebration of Women’s History Month, and that gave Norwescap precisely 31 days to tell the story of women’s impact in America. We failed, of course! How can such a rich history be told in so little time? Thankfully, we have more space to expound upon here. For those who follow us on the Norwescap New Jersey Facebook page you may have had opportunity to view our “Women of Norwescap Live Series,” highlighting a dozen of the nearly 300 women who are part of our incredible Norwescap team. These women spoke about their careers, families, heroines, successes, and challenges. They spoke on behalf of themselves and of those we are serving. If you missed the series, you can view the videos here: Women of Norwescap Recordings.
While March has passed, the story of women’s influence at Norwescap – and beyond – continues. It is essential to understand the obstacles that millions of women continue to face daily in America, and it is crucial to be aware, especially in the context of the work Norwescap does, of the challenges that women with low income face through the welfare system. According to 2019 Census data, the poverty rate among women is 10% in New Jersey, remaining higher than that of men at 8.3%. The majority of Norwescap’s participants are women; many of our services, including WIC (Women, Infant, and Children nutritional assistance) and our Career and Life Transitions Centers, provide support specifically to women to help address these disparities. The continuing wage gap, underrepresentation of women in leadership roles and elected positions, and dozens of other factors contribute to the ongoing challenges women face in our country.
The “Women of Norwescap Live Facebook Series” gave a voice to many of these issues and highlighted the various programs directly making the positive impacts for the women we serve. Our Career and Life Transitions Center diligently provides career counseling and education grants to help women in their workforce paths. The Family Success Traditions Center works holistically to support families, many led by women as Head-of-Household. Our Child and Family Resource Services are tirelessly on the lookout for any obstacle in the way of uplifting our next generation of leaders. Women, Infants, Children (WIC) and Head Start/Early Head Start are also keenly connected with the ‘hands rocking the cradles’ of our participants. Women have a voice that needs to be heard every day of the year, and we are fortunate to have so many speaking up at Norwescap.